Italy’s 2024 budget is in the works. A major concern? Italy’s birth rate fell faster than Japan’s. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has championed the ‘traditional’ family, but will the new budget reflect that commitment? Most likely not with her current actions.
Why it matters: Italy’s birth rate keeps falling and Italy isn’t an attractive place for immigration as other EU countries such as France or Germany. It will enable bad faith actors to push the economy to self sabotaging solutions. Consider significant tax hikes on lower & middle classes or big pension cuts.
- Italy’s birth rate? Down since 2014 to a low of 1.296.
- Average age? 46.4. And 25% of Italians are over 65.
- By 2050, expect the population to shrink by a fifth.
- A study by the University of Padua shows financial concerns hold 70% of potential parents back.
Focus on Cruel Policies, Not Italy’s Birth Rate
Meloni’s stance on family and traditional values has led to abusive & British style expansive austerity policies with examples like:
- Abortion: Her government aims to make it less accessible.
- Surrogacy: They’re discouraging Italians from seeking surrogates, even overseas.
- Parental Rights: Same-sex couples’ rights? Limited under the current regime.
- Tax Cuts: Meloni is more focused on cutting taxes for wealthy Italians
Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister, emphasizes her role as a “Christian mother”. Yet, despite ringing endorsement from the Pope to do so, concrete family-support measures have been few. One can assume Meloni’s priorities as a “Christian Mother” from her current actions.
Details on the Next Budget
Looking ahead: The budget might include family provisions. Minister Giancarlo Giorgietti gave hints but no specifics.
- Eugenia Roccella, Minister for Family, Birth, and Equal Opportunities, suggests more child benefits, especially for second children.
- Other proposals? Tax cuts for bigger families. Incentives for firms hiring moms.
- Unused funds? Last year, 1.5 billion euros meant for child benefits went unclaimed. That might fund these measures.
What to watch: The budget draft is due on October 20th. Based on past timelines, we may only get clarity by year’s end, with whatever family benefits being the first to cut or restriction increased. Whatever happens, it is a poor showing, especially as the secular Czech Republic have made the fiscal commitment since 2009, not a poor virtue signal like Meloni.